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Timor-Leste
Agricultural Rehabilitation, Economic Growth, and Natural Resources Management Project

Report on community forage tree trials including data on survival and growth at seven months after outplanting.

August 2005. Adobe Acrobat file , 202 KB.

Plot layout for forage tree trials, MS Excel document

Photos of workshops, initial growth of forage trees, five-month growth, and seven-month growth


Introduction

Forage banks are plantings of trees which can be cut back and the leaves used to feed livestock. Trees can provide green, fresh, nutritious forage for livestock in the dry season and so are especially relevant to East Timor, where livestock suffer from lack of forage in the dry season. If the trees are left to grow in the wet season they can also provide firewood for the farmer. Confined Bali cattle are raised on Leucaena forage in West Timor. The main obstacle to establishment of forage banks in East Timor is that free-ranging goats browse and kill any unprotected tree seedlings. One way to help trees survive is to plant them around the inside edge of fenced garden plots.

Approach

We began working with community groups in several communities in the Seical river watershed in the fall of 2003. In January 2004 we conducted a participatory rural appraisal exercise, where we spoke with the communities about their agricultural needs and desires. One need was for marketable agricultural produce. Another concern voiced was the loss of grazing land due to the infestation of the weed Chromolaena odorata. As a result of what we heard, we began working with several groups to develop fenced community gardens in different localities. These were planted with vegetables and other crops during the rainy season of 2004. In June 2004 we conducted a series of workshops on nursery production of agroforestry trees, and MAFF started production of several species and cultivars of multi-purpose agroforestry trees which would be useful for animal forage in the MAFF nursery in Triloca. The Coffee Cooperativa Timor (CCT) also provided seedlings from their nursery in Dili. We conducted training workshops on the use of trees for animal forage in three communities in December 2004 and distributed extension booklets and posters done in Tetun. Extension materials are available on the project website or from the UH-MAFF project staff. Demonstration trials of several species of forage trees were planted around the inside edges of the fenced community gardens at the onset of the rainy season in December 2004.

Forage tree training workshops and demonstrations, December 2004

Presentation in MAFF office, Baucau.
Presentation to community group in Fatulia.
Tree planting in Fatulia.
Presentation to community group in Gariuai. Pictured: Aracely Leiva, PCV, translating.
Vermasse community group.


Initial growth of Calliandra in Fatulia, Venilale
Initial growth of Gliricidia (gamal) in Fatulia, Venilale
Planting containerized stock in Gariuai
Two-month growth of Calliandra in Gariuai
Initial growth of Sesbania in Gariuai
Everyone gets into the act in Vermasse
Leucaena trees (ai-kafe) planted along the beach in Vermasse
Gliricidia sepium (gamal) trees and Hibiscus tiliaceus (ai-fau) trees planted by cuttings in Vermasse


Five-month old gamal (Gliricidia sepium) in Vermasse, Baucau
Five-month old ai-turi (Sesbania grandiflora) in Vermasse, Baucau
Five-month old Calliandra calothyrsus seedlings in Gariuai, Baucau
Five-month old ai-turi (Sesbania grandflora) seedlings in Gariuai, Baucau
Five-month old ai-kafe (Leucaena) seedlings in Gariuai, Baucau
Five-month old gamal (Gliricidia sepium) in Fatulia, Venilale, Baucau
Five-month old ai-turi (Sesbania grandiflora) in Fatulia, Venilale, Baucau
Five-month old Calliandra calothyrsus in Fatulia, Venilale, Baucau


Sesbania grandiflora (ai-turi), 7 months old, Vermasse, Baucau. Photo © 2005 J. B. Friday.
Gliricidia sepium (gamal), 7 months old, Vermasse, Baucau. Photo © 2005 J. B. Friday.
Leucaena var. Kx2 (foreground) and Sesbania grandiflora (ai-turi) background) after 7 months, Gariuai, Baucau.

Photo © 2005 J. B. Friday.

Leucaena psyllid on Leucaena var. Tarramba. Gariuai, Baucau.
Photo © 2005 J. B. Friday.
MAFF Forester Pascoal Belo (with height pole), measuring 7 months height growth of Calliandra, Gariuai, Baucau.
Photo © 2005 J. B. Friday.
Gliricidia sepium (gamal) and Calliandra calothyrsus, 7 months growth, with community group in Fatulia, Venilale, Baucau.
Photo © 2005 Ben Guterres.

Timor agroforestry project home

He gave it for his opinion, ... that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.

- Jonathan Swift


Last updated on 8/11/2005